Monday 16 February 2015

Review ~ My So-Called (Love) Life by A.L. Michael

Title: My So-Called (Love) Life.
Author: A.L. Michael.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Publication Date: February 9, 2015.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Meet Tigerlily James: romance cynic, North Londoner and die-hard margarita fan.

Tigerlily James has been a member of the Young and Bitter Club ever since she was dumped on Valentine’s day. By her fiancĂ©.

Surviving on a diet of cynicism and margarita-fuelled ‘Misery Dinners’ with her best friends, she’s become a romance free zone…and that’s the way she likes it. Until an invitation for The Ex’s wedding arrives. Suddenly in need of a plus one, Tig has little choice but to bin the takeaways, ditch the greying underwear collection…and start pretending to view the opposite sex as something other than target practise.

Then, she meets Ollie – ie. the perfect solution. No sex. No strings. Fake boyfriend. The only catch is that she has to pretend to be his girlfriend for three whole months.

Dating without the heartbreak: the best idea Tig’s ever had, right? Wrong!

I’ve spent most of February reading disappointing books and losing my interest in picking up a book altogether, but thankfully, My So-Called (Love) Life was a wonderful reminder of why I love to read. This book made me smile, it made me swoon and laugh and want to crawl right into the lives of these characters. It helped me forget about my problems and it made me happy. I really loved this book and I want to read it all over again.

Tigerlily is the protagonist here and she is a fabulously entertaining, likeable character. Tig spent most of her life with Darren, a complete jerk who dumped her five days before their wedding for the most ridiculous reason going. So months later after she receives an invite to his wedding - why? - the only option is of course to down half a bottle of wine. She soon finds herself confiding in the new, chaotic barman Ollie, who is freaking gorgeous by the way, and leaves that night with a fake boyfriend. Perfect.

OK – the story sounds kind of crazy but this is a brilliant, uplifting book. I loved the characters. Tig and Ollie are actually some of my complete favourite book characters and I adored the interaction between them, the banter and the flirting and the honesty and the way they had each other laughing almost constantly really added some sparks to this novel which in turn brightened up my mood. Tig was an endearing character who always puts a brave face on things, despite her inner battles with self-confidence and chasing her dreams. I think she’d be easy to relate to for a lot of readers and I loved seeing her spirit and her character grow, with the help of her friends and Ollie.

Tig, Ame and Dana are best friends who each have individual issues which are letting their friendship suffer. When they get on the same page and focus on what makes them get along so well anyway, they’re such a laugh to read. Their friendship is very real, with honesty even at the most brutal of moments, the caring side to each of them but also they’re the kind of friends who aren’t afraid to give each other a kick in the right direction when it is needed. It’s just genuine. I mean, there’s only so many times you can listen to someone complain about the same issue without them ever trying to do anything to fix it. There comes a point where you have to be frank and tell them what you really think. A.L. Michael represents a very real kind of friendship perfectly.

Then there is Ollie. I think I fell completely in love with a character in a book and I’m not ashamed to say so! Ollie was funny and kind and beautiful and thoughtful and way too bloody perfect on the outside for Tig to comprehend, but as far as temporary fake boyfriends go, he was a pretty fine choice. I could never quite work out if he was going to come out with some groundbreakingly shocking info about his past to make him not the kind of guy most women would love to ‘know’ themselves, but it was fun finding out. I really, really loved reading the chemistry between Ollie and Tig and it was sweet to see him showing Tig parts of a relationship she never got to see with her twattish ex-boyfriend. I wasn’t jealous at all.

My So-Called (Love) Life was one of those books I just happened to read at the right time which completely lifted my mood and made me feel and smile and want to start reading again. It’s a fun, spirited story gorgeously told yet with so many moments to laugh at in a book that is light-hearted but also relevant and meaningful. I dare you to read this book without a huge grin on your face and without being completely taken in by at least one of the wonderful characters. My So-Called (Love) Life was just the kind of feel-good book I needed to read.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. This book sounds so cute! :) - Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks

  2. This sounds like a great jolly read that we all need.


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